Erie Canal

Onondaga County, New York.

Erie Canal ends in Memphis, New York.

374 feet (114 meters)

166.15 miles long (267.40 kilometers)

7354356.71 miles (11835693.50 sq kilometers)

About The Erie Canal

All About the Erie Canal, NY

The Erie Canal is a waterway that connects New York City with the Great Lakes through the Hudson River. The canal was patterned after the Middlesex Canal in Massachusetts with a 40-foot wide canal prism shape top, and a 28-foot wide bottom. It is also 4 feet deep. It was a massive engineering project for its time, requiring 83 stone locks used to move boats up and down the canal. The Erie canal also had 18 aqueducts to carry it over other bodies of water. 

The water body begins at the Hudson River where it runs north until it reaches Cohoes where it reaches the west side of the Hudson before turning west again. Its waters then reach the Crescent where it continues west until it reaches Rome located in Oneida county. The canal’s waters turn several times in order to avoid outflowing into the nearby Oneida lake. At Canastota, the canal will pass by both Rochester and Syracuse until finally passing by Lockport where it turns southwest in order to reach the top of the Niagara Escarpment. It’ll carry on until it hits Tonawanda, the Erie Canal then heads towards the Buffalo River where it finally starts its connection with Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes. 

While the canal was not the first built by the United States Government, it was one of the most influential projects of the US government because of the scale of the project as well as its resounding financial success. The efficiency and space provided by boats traveling to and from Buffalo and New York, could not compare to regular horse-drawn transportation. In turn, transportation costs significantly lowered. Another big factor in the canal’s success was how it ran along multiple towns and major agricultural sites. The booming trade to and from Buffalo and New York as well as those in between, made enough money to re